Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Never Mind the Width, Feel the Quality

The new universal extruder together with the Java Host Software and my Mendels are now producing whole trays of really high quality parts day in day out in the Bowyer RepRap Playroom, so I thought it was time to do another release.

The picture is as the parts come straight off the machine with no subsequent fettling at all.

That is an amazing-looking print. Do you mind mentioning which changes you made that made the most difference in quality?

Going to 1.75mm? Adding a stepper extruder? Heated build platform? Software changes?

Great work!
They really are looking very nice!

I have just managed to get a 1.75mm Bowden extruder running so I'll try the new version tomorrow.

Great work - Thanks.
In order of importance to quality, highest first, I think the changes go:

1. New extruder,
2. Print double shells for outlines, rather than single,
3. Slow the maximum print speed from 3500 mm/min to 2500 mm/min (sorry!)
4. New bridging code in the s/w for handling unsupported bridges.
Sorry - wrong Google account. That was really me...
Quality looks very good.
Just the solid layers
(e.g. http://reprap.org/mediawiki/images/f/f7/Mini-extruder-rear-view.jpg )
are not exactly solid.

Width-over-Layer-height ratio perhaps?

Does it mount to a Repman or Darwin?
Yes - if I set the fine infill width a little thinner the surfaces would go solid.

The mountings are 50 mm centres as in the standard Mendel X carriage. But the plate that bolts the extruder on to whatever machine is designed to be easy to adapt, and all the other parts of the extruder would remain the same.
Doh! I did it again...
The parts are looking really good, especially as they're straight off the printer!

All the Best
RepRap Central
Very nice, Adrian! Is this PLA or ABS?
Forrest, We've only used PLA for in excess of two years.

For reference I'm 99% sure the image that Marcus posted was printed on an old 3mm extruder, when switching to 1.75 made the biggest difference in quality.... I'm pretty sure the other three changes were already implemented at this stage.
I can't say that I've been overwhelmed with the print quality that you get with PLA. It seems like you pay quite a lot in quality for the ability to use a polymer that might be "green".
Adrian would you expect the same increase in print quality to be seen if using ABS.

Could this extruder just be particularly good for the particular PLA you are useing?

As with ABS I belive from various forum posts there are varying quaitys or types of PLA as there are with ABS.

It would be nice if we were able to identifi what makes one ABS or one PLA better than another when it comes to priniting.

I read some where that commecial machines maintain a heated chamber for the print material to remove any aquired water content in the print material.

It realy would be nice to fully understand print material diffrences enough to be able to create a specification.

The new prints look great..
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